DeForest Buckner is coming off his first Pro Bowl selection.
It’s not likely to be his last.
The 49ers’ dynamic defensive tackle is a motivated man. After putting up the best of his three pro seasons in 2018 – 12 sacks, 20 quarterback hits, 67 tackles (including 17 for loss) – Buckner’s fire to be better hasn’t been dampened.
And, with the additions of edge rushers Dee Ford and No. 1 pick Nick Bosa, Buckner’s opportunities to wreak havoc on opposing offenses should be even more plentiful.
"For (the) interior guys, we’re licking our chops," Buckner recently told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Recently, Buckner said he allowed Ford to borrow his notebook when Ford joined the team this offseason, and they talked about Buckner’s first-page entry of "I can’t be blocked."
It’s Buckner’s mantra, his belief.
"I can’t be blocked," Buckner told Keiana Martin of the team’s website. "I approach that every day. That is my mindset going in every day for practice, and that’s how I approach every game. I want to be the best at my position."
If Buckner does follow up with another terrific season in 2019, he’ll likely collect a huge reward. He’s signed through 2020, but would like to stay with the 49ers and is hoping for a contract extension.
During the organized team activities (OTAs) recently, Buckner told the media he’d love to be like teammate Joe Staley and play his whole career with the 49ers. Staley’s photo is on the wall at Levi’s Stadium that honors players with at least 10 years of service with the team.
Said Buckner: "I’m not going to lie. I look at it all the time. Sometimes I picture my face on the wall. It’s very motivating to see."